Dr. Adrien Bennings
Dr. Adrien Bennings. Photo provided.

Kellogg Community College recently announced the four finalists in the college’s presidential search, who will visit KCC in the coming weeks to meet with students and staff.

Each candidate will also be formally interviewed by the KCC Board of Trustees in a public interview held in the Roll Building Board Room, on campus at 450 North Ave. in Battle Creek. The third candidate to visit KCC will be Dr. Adrien Bennings, who will be interviewed by the board beginning at 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4.

A public forum just for students to meet Bennings will begin at 1:45 p.m. Nov. 4.

Dr. Adrien L. Bennings currently serves as the vice president of Administration and Finance at Clovis Community College in Clovis, New Mexico. Bennings holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Texas Tech University; an MBA from Wayland Baptist University; and a B.S in Agricultural Development from Texas A&M University.

We asked Bennings some questions about what her presidency at KCC would look like. Her answers are below.

The Bruin News: What are you going to do to maintain affordability for tuition and textbooks at KCC?

Bennings: Tuition and textbooks remain at the forefront of the community college dialogue. When it comes to tuition and textbooks, we must address the affordability gaps. This means assessing resources, options and overall student impact. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, it is first necessary to consider the internal and external factors such as economic conditions, appropriations, institutional budget and enrollment. In keeping with the mission of community colleges, maintaining affordability, our efforts will be dedicated to mitigate such barriers for our students. 

The Bruin News: Why were you drawn to KCC?

Bennings: Battle Creek, Michigan, is so rich in its cultural history and its legacy of transforming communities and the overall impact in the lives of individuals. What initially drew my attention to the opportunity at KCC was the message of diversity, equity and inclusion. I value an environment where standards of diversity and inclusiveness are not only promoted, but evident in the culture of the institution. Lastly, to become the next president of KCC enables me to fulfill my passion, impacting communities and empowering the lives of others.

The Bruin News: What are your main short-term and long-term goals for the campus and students? What will be your top priorities at KCC?

Bennings: Pace is important. For me, I’ve identified three key themes which precede any specific goals. ALIGNMENT of expectations is most important as it will set the context of performance outcomes. This will also shape the conversation around what is expected of me in the short term (i.e., first year) as the new president. Second, I will seek to ENGAGE with the campus and various constituencies through forums, groups, one-on-one meetings, and events. This will help to solidify the team culture at KCC. Lastly, I will OPTIMIZE opportunities to make necessary decisions, move forward with plans already in place and connect with stakeholders in the community.

The Bruin News: What will be the first thing you do once you start?

Bennings: The key to a successful transition is having a plan. I’ve developed a plan for transition and integration which provides a framework for “hitting the ground running.” This plan will need to be reviewed and discussed with the KCC Board of Trustees to ensure alignment of expectations and promote open communication. Through this, we will work collaboratively to identify pressing needs, critical priorities and anticipated deliverables.

The Bruin News: What is your attitude toward student-led and campuswide events? How are you going to support clubs and their activities?

Bennings: When you empower students to be at the helm of activities it becomes a valuable engagement factor. To do so not only contributes to student success, but also lends itself to enhanced socialization skills, leadership development and campus connections. I encourage student-led groups and would support their activities by being visible, being present.

The Bruin News: What is your plan to prioritize diversity, inclusion and equity for student success?

Bennings: I am a champion for diversity and equity.  It would be most valuable for me to understand what’s available, what’s needed and what gaps need to be bridged. This includes a process of assessment, involvement of campus stakeholders and facilitated discussions which are designed to lead to a mapped out plan for action and future strategies. Ultimately, the message of diversity and equity must be clearly demonstrated and evident in all that we do.

For more information

The Bruin News published answers to the above questions from the other presidential candidate finalists in advance of their visits to KCC. Click through the links below to view answers from the other finalists.

For more information about KCC’s presidential search, visit www.kellogg.edu/transition.